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I Kinda Hate Poinsettias….

My paternal grandmother, Hessie Lee Hanks (we called her La La), lived with us for a few years of my childhood, until she passed. She was four foot 9 inches tall, and you’d better not try to step to her. Not necessarily because of my dad or my brothers, although they would get you together, but because she didn’t play. I dare say that much of my no nonsense attitude comes from her and my maternal grandmother, Ethel.

La passed two weeks before Christmas break, my freshman year of high school. I’d just turned thirteen and I was devastated. We weren’t set to begin break for another week but I couldn’t stop crying long enough for my parents to send me to school, so, my brother and I had an extra week home. Okay, the part about the poinsettias, well, they’re

flowers. Well, duh, I’m sure you know that already, but what you don’t know is that when my grandmother passed, they filled our home. People from all over sent them to us. Why poinsettias? Well, they were the flower in bloom during that time of year. We had red ones and white ones, and they crowded the front of our home until they began to wilt. It was then that I learned to, ummm, well… hate them, kinda. I say kinda because they are pretty, but when I see them, every year, I think of them invading our home that year my La La died.

Why do you care? Well, per usual, glad you were wondering. You see, every year, at my church (Christ Church Apostolic, Indianapolis, IN- – – visit us sometime), they are ordered and placed on and around the pulpit. And every year, I kinda hate them, but I’ve gotten so used to them each year that I practice to barely notice them. Today was the first Sunday of their yearly appearance, and I rolled my eyes as I looked at them. Today, they bothered me. Then God spoke to me and said, “I need you to praise me past them. Forget the flowers, and place your focus on Me.” It then came to me that we often miss things vital to our futures because we allow ourselves to be so engulfed in what hurt us from our past. Pretty sure that’s why He allowed them to bother me so, this morning. I know that some things that have happened aren’t easy to get past, but we gotta stop letting our past “haunt” us. It’s definitely not the poinsettias fault that they were the flower of the season and now I think of that December when I was 13. And with you, it may be a song, a place, a movie, that you’re holding in your “bad memory” box. Can you live past it? Can you worship beyond it? Can you trust God through it???

Don’t get distracted! It’s too late in the game for you to let “that one thing” get you off track. See, today, as I worshiped, God noticed me. He spoke to me and He honored what I presented before Him. Had I let those flowers bother me and cause me to b distracted, I wouldn’t have gotten what I needed from Him to lead me into this coming week. Philippians 3:13 says, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,”. The NLT Bible says it this way, “ No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,”. Look ahead. You have destiny to fulfill. Don’t allow those “poinsettias” to deter you from your purpose. Israel Houghton sings a song called Moving Forward. It says, “I’m not going back, I’m moving ahead. I’m here to declare to you, my past is over. In you, all things are made new, surrendered my life to Christ. I’m moving, moving forward.”

Be intentional in moving into destiny.  Be purposeful in stepping into your destiny.  Choose not to get off track and allow God to lead you where you need to be.

Okay. Gotta get some sleep.

Love y’all (I really do!),

Ms. A.M.White

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